Lighting! - It doesn't have to be expensive, doesn't have to use tons of electricity, and doesn't have to generate loads of heat.

LED

 
 
 

Basic Lighting Info

Don't be daunted by what at first may seem like a confusing and technical area, we have broken down all the information you need to know to get started.

Timing

Just how long should my plants have their light on for each day? This largely depends on the type of plant and its stage of growth --- do a google search for light requirements for your plant and you should find some info --- but as a general rule of thumb, 14 - 16 hours a day, with at least 8 hours of darkness works well. We highly recommend controlling this with a plug socket timer --- available for a few pounds --- which will guarantee a good even light cycle, even when your not home, having a lie in, or have forgot to check!

LED

By far our best recommendation --- Once only used for the standby light on your TV, LEDs are now advanced enough to create the whole TV screen, as well as countless other uses! Luckily for us, advances in LED grow lights have come forward in the last few years, and you can now get very efficient lights that use as much as an energy saving lightbulb for as low as £23! LED grow lights work by combining together LED lights that produce only the exact wavelengths of light needed for plant growth. These wavelengths can be altered by swapping the light, to give your plant optimal conditions during different stages of growth --- often vegetative and flowering/fruiting --- this difference in wavelength simulates how the plant has evolved to work with the changes in the colour of light from the sun as the seasons change. Because of the very low heat production, LED lights can be placed much closer to your plants than typical grow lights, further increasing their efficiency.

No ballasts, considerably less electricity use, and considerably less heat production, all for a considerably lower cost! Take a look now!

 
 

Fluorescent Grow Lights

Another very practical solution, these lights are based on the same technology as a energy saving lightbulb (known as a compact fluorescent or CFL). They are low energy use (though slightly higher than LEDs) and low heat (again slightly higher than LEDs) and low cost. Fluorescent lights come in either strip lights (long thing tube strips) or as CFLs (similar to energy saving bulbs), and come in any desired wavelength of colour. Similar to LEDs, the bulbs can be swapped to the ideal colour range for each stage of growth. Reflectors can be added to maximise efficiency, though a CFL grow light can be a great option low cost option for a starter setup. Have a browse of the selection available!

Metal Halide (MH) Grow Lights

Larger, and brighter, these lights are ideal for larger set ups. Though they use more power, generate heat, and have slightly more setup, the process isn't hard and they are great for giving lots of light to a good bunch of plants. Metal Halide bulbs give off 125 lumens per watt of power, compared to 90 for fluorescents, making them more efficient if you are growing a wide selection, or want a professional grade setup --- a combination of Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium bulbs are used by commercial indoor growers. Metal Halide bulbs give off light in the blue spectrum, which is ideal for the vegetative stage of most plants.

 
 
High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Grow Lights

Larger, and brighter, these lights are ideal for larger set ups. Though they use more power, generate heat, and have slightly more setup, the process isn't hard and they are great for giving lots of light to a good bunch of plants. High Pressure Sodium lights give off 140 lumens per watt of power, compared to 90 for fluorescents, making them more efficient if you are growing a wide selection, or want a professional grade setup --- a combination of Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium bulbs are used by commercial indoor growers. Metal Halide bulbs give off light in the red spectrum, which is ideal for the fruiting/flowering stage of most plants, however will produce tall, leggy plants if used for vegetative growth.